BCWF


The recent decision by the B.C. government to ban the regulated grizzly hunt to all but Indigenous hunters is a prime example of populism.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “populism” as: Political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want.

The ideas are often put forward in the absence of science or analysis of the long-term policy implications.

The threshold for populism is often driven by “popular support” for an idea, not because it is rational, stable or in the best interests of the resource, but because it is politically popular and in the short term will garner political support.

The issue is: Do you want your government to make the popular decision, or the rational decision? The former is driven by the public opinion, the latter by rigorous analysis of the consequences in terms of what is in the best interests of the resource and the populace.

In B.C., 78 per cent of the public, according to the government, is against the hunting of grizzly bears. But a rigorous analysis was conducted by the B.C. Auditor General and the conclusion was that hunting was not seen as a threat to grizzly bear sustainability and was considered a minor factor within the issue of larger habitat management. You can find the 74-page report, An Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management, at www.bcauditor.com.

The B.C. government originally made the popular decision that trophy hunting was bad, but stated that hunting for substance was permissible, including for food, social and ceremonial purposes by First Nations. The regulations to manage the trophy hunting through non-retention of bear parts were put to public consultation by the Ministry of Forest Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. From an administrative, technical, compliance and enforcement perspective, government concluded these regulations were unworkable. This was the message received both from inside and outside the government. It really didn’t matter where you sat on the debate; government tried to cut the bear in half, to nobody’s satisfaction.

Prior to a final decision on grizzly bear hunting, government was left with two choices, leave the status quo, or ban all licenced hunting of grizzly bears. Personally, I would not hunt grizzly bears. But if the hunt was sustainable, I would not impose my personal values on others to prevent them from hunting.

Populism won the day and now there is no hunt. First Nations can continue to hunt if they choose. In my view, the larger issue is this constitutionally protected right will be hollow when their fish and wildlife populations are gone. The right to gain economically from commercial uses of natural resources under the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples is also in question. First Nations have strong voices and can speak for themselves on how, where and why they want to engage in the grizzly bear debate.

The bottom line is the NDP government and the Green party have chosen a populist view not based on science that does not bode well for future resource management policy decisions.

Alan Martin is director of strategic initiatives at the B.C. Wildlife Federation.

BCWF Conservation App Promo Image

The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) has launched a new app to make it easier for people who witness a threat to the environment to report it immediately to the appropriate agency.

“We’ve been working on this for nearly two years and now we’re ready to make this happen. We’ve given people the ability to report situations in real time and make certain those reports go to the appropriate agency,” said Jesse Zeman, the spokesperson for the BCWF resident priority program, adding that the app allows outdoor enthusiasts with smartphones to take geo-referenced, time staped photos or videos to report issues rlated to the abuse of B.C.’s natural resources.

Read more.

BCWF Conservation App Webpage including some instructions and a map of reports.

The BCWF’s Youth Program is coming to the Dawson Creek Sportsman’s Club this year with the Go Wild! Youth for Conservation Camp from July 10-14, 2017. Themed around conservation and leadership, this weeklong day camp for youth ages 13-17 is a perfect fit for those who enjoy the outdoors and want to gain leadership skills. Go Wild aims to inspire an interest in environmental stewardship and empower youth to take on a leadership role in their communities. Youth will also learn outdoor skills such as fire and shelter building. The cost is $50 + registration fees ($53.60 total).

For more information and to register, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.ca/myevent?eid=34640936975 or search “Go Wild! Youth for Conservation: Dawson Creek 2017” on https://www.eventbrite.ca/

For any questions regarding the camp, please contact Ariene Cabantog and/or Chris Lim.

Contact info: 

Ariene Cabantog – Kids and Youth Program Intern, Go Wild

BC Wildlife Federation

T: 604-882-9988 ext. 228 | E: gowild@bcwf.bc.ca

Chris Lim – Kids and Youth Program Coordinator

BC Wildlife Federation

T: 604-882-9988 ext. 228 | E: youth@bcwf.bc.ca

Also see http://bcwf.net/index.php/programs/gowild

 

Go Wild Dawson Creek 2017 Poster

Here are the slides from Jim Glaicar’s, President of the BCWF, presentation at our Town Hall Meeting on April 26, 2017.

The British Columbia government has released the allocation report that covers the next five-year allocation period starting in 2017. Allocation refers to how hunting opportunities for big game animals are split between resident and non-resident hunters. The annual allowable harvest (AAH) is the optimum number of animals that can be harvested annually by hunters from a herd or population which will be replenished through the population’s natural reproduction to meet management objectives and is determined by the government’s regional wildlife managers. The AAH is supposed to be based on current scientific bast practices and current inventory work, but sometimes the inventory work is outdated. The AAH also considers conservation at the forefront and secondly First Nation’s needs for food, social and ceremonial purposes.

The attached document has some explanatory comments and the information can be a little hard to interpret, but one trend is very evident — there are fewer hunting opportunities in the upcoming five-year allocation period.

There are three variables included in the tables that impact the AAH:

First Nation’s Impact: this is determined by different methods around the province and is far from exact science as most First Nations do not report their harvest numbers or composition (cows, calves, bulls etc).

AAH Impact: Is largely based on wildlife inventory work and the impact on allocation depends on whether game populations have increased or declined.

Policy Impact: In February of 2015, Minister of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations, Steve Thomson set the allocation splits between resident and non-resident hunters. The result of the Minister’s decision caused a shift in allocation between residency groups. The splits are contained in the FAQ document.

A detailed breakdown of the allocation impacts for the 2017-2021 allocation five-year period was provided by government in March 2017. (You have to divide the allocation by five to get the annual allocation and hunting opportunities can fluctuate after the first year depending on what the actual harvest data is.) You will notice that for the most part thinhorn sheep in region 6 are not included in the policy (only a couple of management units where resident hunters are on LEH) and that thinhorn sheep in region 7B are totally managed outside of the allocation policy

 

Victoria Rally Poster

Resident Hunters of British Columbia:

THIS IS THE BIG ONE!

We are planning a rally March 2, 2015 on the steps of the Legislature in Victoria.

This is your opportunity to make it clear to your politicians that you are not supportive of the recently announced Wildlife Allocation Policy.

Each person attending is requested to bring and hand deliver a letter as part of the rally.

We will also have a petition for everyone to sign demanding that Government revisit this policy and change it.

As has been said before ‘THIS IS OUR HILL TO DIE ON!

We NEED this to be the biggest rally seen YET.

Bring your friends, families and anyone who disagrees with selling off our wildlife!

Resident Hunters Rally in Kelowna

Resident Hunters Rally in Kelowna January 31, 2015

BC Resident Action for Mountain Sheep or RAMS was started in the mid 1970’s in Fort St. John by a small number of resident hunters over a concern on the impact by the guide outfitting industry on mountain sheep populations and resident opportunities. Members of the RAMS executive met with elected government officials in Victoria and the concerns expressed were largely ignored. The lack of action on behalf of residents by government resulted in a media campaign in the form of a series of news papers that were distributed to the majority of sheep hunters around the province. This media campaign and the accompanying pressure from resident hunters got the attention of government and ultimately lead to guide outfitters going on quota for Stone’s Sheep.

Resident Action for Mountain Sheep Newsletter Image

 

Read the full RAMS Newspaper (64 MB)

Changes to B.C.’s Wildlife Allocation Policy announced by Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson dramatically reduce residents’ access to wild game and increase the number of opportunities for non-residents of BC. If you care about your future hunting opportunities, read and listen to the background information linked to below, and take action:

Send Letters-Faxes-Emails to Your Representatives and the Media

Attend the Town Hall Meeting: 7 PM January 27, 2015 – Pomeroy Hotel 11308 Alaska Road

Background Information:

Letter from Minister Steve Thomson to BCWF president George Wilson explaining his allocation decision.

Allocation Splits.

Allocation Letter to MLA Pat Pimm

NPRG Allocation Mail-Out

BCWF Allocation Press Release 2014

Alaska Highway News Article

Alaska Highway News Letter to the Editor

In the News

(more…)

BCWF has started a petition to urge the Government of B.C. to rescind their recent decision on Wildlife Allocation, which will result in lost hunting opportunities for our province’s resident hunters.

The petition calls on the Government of B.C. to overturn the decision to change the Wildlife Harvest Allocation Policy, which gives a larger share of hunting permits to B.C. guide outfitters and a smaller share of hunting permits to B.C. resident hunters.

The petition will be submitted to the Province of B.C. – click below to sign and make your voice heard!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION!

On Wednesday, December 10, 2014 the BCWF received Minister Steve Thomson’s decision on allocation, including “regionally tailored” splits between residents and non-residents. The allocation splits represent a degradation of resident priority with an increased share going to guided hunters in many cases. Your displeasure of this decision must be made loud and clear to your MLA Pat Pimm, Minister Thomson, and Premier Christy Clark.

Letter from Minister Steve Thomson to BCWF president George Wilson explaining his allocation decision.

Allocation Splits.

 

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